9 Ayurvedic Tips for a Healthier Life
Nine tips to boost your health from India's ancient healing system - Ayurveda
An Ancient Indian Healing System
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system founded on the principle that the mind and body are connected as a whole.
Ayurveda states that the universe is made up of the five elements –Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Like all living organisms, humans form part of nature and the environment, and are therefore governed by the same elements. The elements exist within the human body in the form of the three doshas or energies, known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
In Ayurveda perfect health is defined as a “balance between body, mind, spirit and the world around us”. It teaches people how to attain optimal health by balancing the mind and body in a holistic way, bringing us back to our unique constitution, or prakriti.
Every individual has a unique prakriti or constitution, formed by a unique combination of the doshas, with one dosha usually being dominant.
Vata dominant individuals are usually thin, light, passionate, active and changeable. Pitta dominant personalities tend to be intense, intelligent and driven. Individuals with dominant Kapha, tend to be relaxed, systematic and nurturing.
Due to our hectic lifestyles, poor eating habits and the emotional turmoils that life brings us, we often come out of balance from our initial prakriti. When the doshas come out of balance, our health and wellbeing are affected and disease manifests.
When Vata is balanced, the individual is dynamic and creative, but when it is imbalanced anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation and lack of focus are often experienced.
When Pitta functions adequately, the person is kind, friendly, disciplined, a good leader and a good speaker. An imbalanced Pitta will make a person short-tempered, neurotic and may create physical ailments in the form of indigestion or inflammation.
A well balanced Kapha, makes a person sweet, caring and stable; but when out of balance, sluggishness, weight gain and sinus congestions become common.
Nine easy things you can do to boost your health.
Wake up and go to Bed every day at the ideal time.
The ideal time to wake up is before 6am, known as time when Vata is dominant in the environment. Since Vata governs movement, energy and excitement, this is the best time to rise energetically. Similarly it is best to go to bed before 10pm, known as the time when Kapha, the dosha which governs stillness, rest and recovery is dominant in the environment.
Understand your doshas.
Take an ayurvedic personality test to understand your individual prakriti. Find out if one of your doshas are imbalanced, and try to eat according to your doshas.
Clean your tongue every morning.
Clean your tongue every morning with a tongue cleaner or your tooth brush. This will remove the toxins and bacteria that accumulated overnight. By cleaning your tongue, you ensure these don’t go into the digestive system during the day.
Morning Sun salutation.
Start your morning with a Sun salutation to get your circulation going, get rid of morning stiffness and send some oxygen to your brain.
Activate your digestion by drinking a cup of warm water.
A warm cup of water in the morning will fuel your digestive fire, giving your more energy and an increased metabolism.
Maintain a daily routine.
Give your body and mind daily rhythm so your subconscious knows when it is time to rest, work, eat, etc. This will be especially beneficial for those suffering from Vata imbalance.
Go empty handed into the bathroom.
Elimination is as important as digestion to your health. When you go to the bathroom, leave your phones, books, magazines, etc. outside. Don’t let your mind get in the way of your body’s time for elimination, try and remain thoughtless during this time.
Never drink anything cold.
Ayurveda relates digestion with the element of fire. Cold drinks extinguish your inner fire, making your metabolism slower, decreasing your digestive power in the process.
Shower when the Sun is shining.
Always shower or bathe during the day. According to Ayurveda, bathing at night promotes kapha, which creates phlegm, congestion and encourages retention.